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Wind River communication device
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Author:  THarman [ March 28th, 2019, 11:34 am ]
Post subject:  Wind River communication device

Hi Everyone

We are paddling the Wind River this summer as was wondering if you think a Garmin Inreach is good enough for emergency situations or should we also have a Sat phone?
The group is split on what device is acceptable

Author:  Neil Fitzpatrick [ March 28th, 2019, 12:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wind River communication device

I don't think there's anything better than a PLB for emergencies. They're not a cheap addition but there's no subscription. It is not only a GPS tracker but has local homing. It doesn't use an American call centre, the signal is picked up by CFB Trenton. If you buy one, keep it in a PFD - not in a pack.

It cannot be used for communication; only emergencies.

That's where an InReach or a Sat Phone comes in handy. That mini InReach and a smart phone would probably be good. We have the original InReach which stays in our pack to be used for logistics and reports to keep family happy.

Safety in numbers - or something like that - my wife and I will trip on our own so if a canoe was pinned we only have what is in our PFDs. Depending on your group, you may decide an InReach in a PFD is sufficient (?I think they're waterproof?).

I've never used a Sat Phone and I don't ever plan on it so I can't comment on them.

Author:  Seaweed [ March 28th, 2019, 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wind River communication device

I'm comfortable with only my Inreach for any of my remote solo ventures, even more so when with a group.

Author:  recped [ March 28th, 2019, 3:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wind River communication device

I am VERY confident using my InReach. I have a Sat Phone but I no longer use it, haven't taken it on trip after the first year I had an inreach and have no desire to ever cart it around again.

The InReach is in my PFD pocket where it is actually of use if there was an emergency, I could use it to tell people that I need help and my Sat Phone has gone down the river with my boat and all my gear!

In a complex immediate medical emergency where minutes count a Sat Phone might be better but for anything else the Inreach is fine. On the other hand connectivity with a Sat Phone can be spotty depending on local geography the InReach is more likely to connect.

For what it's worth, pretty much everyone climbing in the Himalayas carries a InReach.

Truthfully, part of my rationale is cost, Sat Phones have become way too expensive these days while an Inreach is dirt cheap in comparison. Sending messages is definitely a bit "cludgy" (think texting on your old Flip Phone), an option for that is to couple it (bluetooth) with a phone or tablet. This option will then give you full function like a mapping GPS in addition to a nicer keyboard setup.

Author:  Splake [ March 28th, 2019, 3:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wind River communication device

Neil Fitzpatrick wrote:
...Depending on your group, you may decide an InReach in a PFD is sufficient (?I think they're waterproof?).
...


Yes an InReach is waterproof.

Author:  recped [ March 28th, 2019, 4:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wind River communication device

Splake wrote:
Neil Fitzpatrick wrote:
...Depending on your group, you may decide an InReach in a PFD is sufficient (?I think they're waterproof?).
...


Yes an InReach is waterproof.



Yes, even though the little cover over the usb port seems flimsy and not very waterproof it actually is (as long as it's seated properly). Most Sat Phones besides being to big to fit in a pocket are not waterproof at all and that's why they tend to be stored in a place where access is not good in an emergency.

Of course there is the bonus the tracking function (people at home can follow you), weather forecasts (I find this alone to be worth the price), posting messages to Twitter or facebook (some phones can do this as well).

Author:  THarman [ March 28th, 2019, 8:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wind River communication device

Thanks for the replies

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